Wednesday, October 29, 2008

the goddess

"The Goddess. The Divine Feminine. The Big G with Breasts. The one who has, religiously speaking, really gotten the shaft. And this planet's only now beginning that nobody puts Mama in the corner. If the Goddess comes knocking on your spirit's door, by all means, invite her in for pie and wine." -Sera Beak, from The Red Book. Love, love, love this book.

And it's quite appropriate for our upcoming workshop this Sunday with Anna Ferguson. Come to do yoga, learn the various messages Goddesses have brought to us, and revel in your own Goddess-ness and those around you.

Click here to register! Space is limited so don't delay!

Monday, October 27, 2008

the divine

Your relationship with the divine should dance and sway, should at all times be dynamic and energized and fluid, constantly redefining itself as you progress."

Sera Beak

Friday, October 24, 2008

do any good for the world today?

That was the question I got from Andy a couple days ago. After my immediate shock of the question (those that know Andy know he's not the philosophical one, I happily take that role) I couldn't really come up with an answer.

Sure I had taught some yoga, practiced some yoga, let the person driving into my lane....all of which in one form or another are "do good" deeds. But I was hoping for a little more.

Yesterday I checked in with Jen Lemen's blog as I have for a while. And I found this heart warming post. I knew at the end of the post when I saw the little "donate" button that I had to. Not because I felt guilty when I couldn't give Andy an honest answer, and not because I felt like "I should" or that it would be "the right" thing to do.

I did it because Jen's words really resonated with me. When I looked into the eyes of the beautiful little girl and her family, I saw myself and my own family.
I saw you and you and you.
I saw all of us.
I was once again reminded that we are all one.
We are all connected.
And that's a beautiful thing called Yoga.

**Then I got this email from Jen....
"this is hugely helpful, i can't tell you.
with thirty bucks in kigali, odette's brother can fill the house with really necessary things like rice and oil and raw milk and really good greens."

Have a joy FULL weekend. :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

YinYasa workshop tomorrow!

Friday night from 6:00 till 8:00
Only $12!!!

Be there....or be square.
Yes I did go there.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

i need a home....

Hi, we're three little, lovely kittens. We were abandoned over the weekend at a sweet gal's farm. Our present caregiver believes us to be about six weeks old assumes we are in good health. Of course we are! Hey, you never tell your age, so why should we? She also believes they we are all female. We were a bit offended by that, but oh well. She is feeding us afterall. We're currently living in a spacious barn and have already caught a mouse! That was yesterdays highlight! The barn is pretty cool, but we'd love a nice cozy home....and we hear that yogi's make the best owners. We hear you even have a pose named after us!

Ellen (current caregiver) says they have already adjusted to people and are affectionate. She's even "happy to get their first set of shots and a worming if someone takes one and gives her a good home."

If you'd love one, leave a comment and I'll connect you with Ellen.....

*Yes it's true that you never know what you'll find on the barefoot works blog. ;-)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

life...don't miss it

”Life is a great and wondrous mystery, and the only thing we know that we have for sure is what is right here right now. Don’t miss it.”
Leo Buscaglia

*Only in Whitesburg can you catch a ride on a horse. His name is Silver. :-)

Friday, October 17, 2008

what steps are you inspired to take after this week of reflection?

That's it! The fifth and final day of our self discovery series. One question to tie it all together. What steps are you now inspired to take after discovering what you have? If you are feeling inspired by this week, think of what you need and want to do to live your biggest, fullest, most authentic and joyful life.

Pose: Whatever pose helps you to get quiet and centered. Perhaps corpse pose, seated meditation position, or butterfly?

Challenge: Make note of one area of your life where you want to make change. Write down several action steps that you can take over the course of the next six weeks. Assign a date for completion for each action step. Don't feel like these have to BIG steps. Maybe the are, maybe they aren't. Maybe you need to take what Sark refers to as micromovements. Click that link and read. It's a great tool!

Big happy living to each of you! I hope you found this weeklong series helpful. I had great fun doing it!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

what can i do today to live more joyfully?

Yeah it's day four of the yoga as a means for self discovery series. If you've been following along all week (and many of you have told me you have, thanks!) you've probably found that this work can be pretty tough and intense. I thought it would be nice today to sort of take a step back, and bask in some joy. The key word in this post is "today". I think that too many times we "save" our joy for later occasions. When we lose five more pounds, or get that raise, or take that trip. Hey I'm guilty here. Earlier this week I exclaimed to Andy, "You know where I'll be this time in nine more months? Maya Tulum for our yoga retreat!!" Um, hello saving my joy and completely not being present!

So what can you do today to live more joyfully? For me, I'm sitting here at Coffee Times. I just enjoyed the most delicious cup of coffee and white chocolate and raspberry scone. Yes it was delicious and completely worth the calories. It's a small thing, but after teaching class I was so excited to retreat here. Maybe it's taking some time for yourself. Or watching a movie that makes you happy or listening to a song that makes you feel like a superhero. Going for a walk, baking, reading, writing, crafting, playing, and yoga might help you to feel joyful.

Pose: Happy Baby Pose - Need I say more? When we have a choice (and we always do) why would we choose not to be joyful?

Challenge: You could just close your eyes, let the edges of your mouth curl up and bust out a big ol' grin. I know it sounds a little silly, but it's hard to be grumpy with a big grin plastered on your face! And commit to doing at least one thing that allows you to be joyful in this moment, today.

Do share....what are you going to do?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

what would I do if I knew I wouldn’t fail?

Welcome to day three of the self discovery series. What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail? This is a pretty popular question. When I typed it into Google I got 722,000 results! This is an interesting question and I try to ask myself this very question on a pretty consistent basis.

I’m a pretty big proponent is choosing to be appreciative of the life we live and trying to find a sense of contentment within our days. All you have to do is go back to yesterdays post about embracing what you have. At the same time, I’m a big proponent in choosing, creating, and living a life that we love.

I think that we can all relate to feeling stuck in some area(s) of our life. Maybe it’s a relationship, a job, where we live, how we spend our time, etc. If you can’t seem to get a handle on it and it’s a consistent theme in your life then maybe it’s time to shake things up a little. If you have a deep yearning to do something else, something different then allow yourself some space to explore that. Mary Oliver might say “you felt the old tug at your ankles” as she does in The Journey. I think that most of us don’t even allow ourselves to dream about what could be, because we’re too caught up in the “what if’s” and “I can’t”.

Pose: Handstand – Just play with it. This is a pose in which most of us are scared. We’re scared of kicking all the way up. We’re scared of not kicking all the way up. Don’t even worry if you don’t kick all the way up. Embrace it for what it is. But don’t let the fear of falling or failing immobilize you. And most importantly can you have fun in the process? And take care of yourself?

Challenge: Ask yourself once more what you would do if you knew you wouldn’t fail. Then spend just five minutes writing about what comes to mind.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

instead of wishing for something else, how can I embrace what I have?

I fully admit that this is a tough one for me. I’ve spent a good deal of my 31 years wishing I had something different that what I currently had. First it was the clothes, then the body, then a job, a home, a pose, and well you probably get the picture. What I’ve realized is that I’m tired of feeling “not enough”. It’s not worth my time or energy. I’ve realized that each of us have a limited amount of time on this beautiful earth and we should use this time wisely. Let’s all spend more time playing, laughing, loving, moving and connecting.

Pose: Standing Forward Bend – If there ever was a pose I see people reaching and struggling in, it’s this one. Please, quit pushing yourself to get your fingers to the floor. Let your hands rest on your knees, shins, ankles, or whatever. Just embrace your pose (and your hamstrings) for what it is.

Challenge: Write down ten things you have in your life right now that you can fully appreciate and maybe even embrace.

*Photo from Yoga Journal

Monday, October 13, 2008

how can I live more deliberately?

This is the first inquiry as we think of yoga as a means of self discovery
It’s easy to drift in and out of our days. Before we know it, they all look and feel the same. Are you spending your days operating on autopilot or are you making a clear and conscious effort to come alive and live deliberately? What would it mean for you to live more deliberately? I imagine it would vary for each of us. Allow yourself some time to ponder the question and write down what comes to mind.

Pose: Dancer Pose - It’s impossible to practice this pose and be on autopilot for it requires you to be open, available and truly present. How alive can you feel in your pose? Practice with a wall if you feel this pose is a little out of your league for today.

Challenge: Go public with how you’ll live more deliberately. Tell a friend, tell your mom, or tell us here on the blog. Maybe it's one small step, or maybe it's a big leap that you've been scared to take. Why state it out loud? Because you’re more likely to make changes when others are holding you accountable. And you're putting it out there for the universe to hear. ;-)

Let me know if you discover anything!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

yoga as a means for self discovery

This weekend I spent a good amount of time reflecting on some things to clarify what's really important to me. Sitting on the couch with pretty pens, paper and important questions allowed me to ponder what it is about yoga that keeps me coming back to the mat,as a teacher and a student. Spending time hiking in Berea with a dear yoga friend also allowed me to put some things in perspective. Nature is good for the soul. Always.

What I've realized is that yoga has always allowed me to go within and observe what's going on. When I started yoga it was about observing the breath and sensations I was feeling in the postures. As time and my yoga practice have progressed, I've allowed myself to move deeper (literally and figuratively) into my yoga practice. I have no doubt that yoga (for me) is an ongoing process that helps me to align body, mind, and spirit. If my body is feeling all out of whack, there is probably an area of my life that is out of whack. This could range from my relationships, to food, physical environment, exercise, lack of "me" time, etc. Yoga helps me to balance my inner and outer life.

So this brings me to my very first series here on the Barefoot Works blog. Beginning Monday I'll present a question for you to ponder and a yoga pose that can help you to explore the question. Let's see if your yoga pose and inquiry can lead you to discover something intersting about your life. If nothing else, it will be a great chance to fit a little yoga into your day. :-)

Sound fun? I hope that you'll play along this week!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

soar baby soar

"One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar."
- Helen Keller

Thursday, October 09, 2008

it's not about the money

That's the title of the book that I plan to purchase soon. I've been eyeing this book and with all the money talk thought it might be nice to "Unlock My Money Type to Achieve Spiritual and Financial Abundance." Brent Kessel is the author of this book and he has written for Yoga Journal. Check out his site here and take the quiz here to learn more about your money type.

It seems that I'm "The Innocent" type which means that "you avoid putting significant attention on money and believe or hope that life will work out for the best. The risk of this is that you can be avoidant or even helpless when it comes to money. But on the positive side, you're often hopeful and adaptable."

Yep, that's me. My quiz also told me that KIVA is a place to invest. Must be on, since I already do this.

Happy sweet dreams of abundance. ;-)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

the economy and yoga

Within five minutes today I had two yogi's mention to me their anxiety over our nation's finances. I had already planned to lead a guided "ocean of abundance" meditation in the yin yoga class. This could do us all good considering the dark clouded thought of an economic meltdown. Shall we look at this with a yogic perspective?Let's first look at an attitude of scarcity vs. abundance.

Definitions of scarce include....Insufficient to meet a demand or requirement; short in supply
2. Hard to find; absent or rare

Definitions of abundance include..Occurring in or marked by abundance; plentiful.
2. Abounding with; rich

Just close your eyes, says the words to yourself and notice how each one makes you feel. It's my guess that "scarce" makes you a bit more tense. You might be able to feel yourself contracting and curling up. It conjures up feeling and thoughts that are not pleasant nor comfortable. Abundant on the other hand might make you feel more spacious and light. More happy and free. It conjures of feelings of joy, wellness and airiness.

Given the choice (and luckily you have that) which do you choose? Even now during potential times of trouble and change?

Here's how to take care of your "whole" self when you feel an economic meltdown coming on. Let's imagine that you're paying all your biggest bills and you see that your fave show is interrupted to inform you of the latest financial disaster, which of course throws you over the edge.

1. Stop what you're doing. Close your eyes and simply breathe. Pay attention to what's going on with your body. Allow your face to relax, soften through your shoulders. Focus on softness and space in your body. You might use your inhalation to lift and lengthen through your spine. With the exhalation feel your feet rooted to the earth.
2. Bring your hands together in a prayer position. Open your palms, pressing the outer edge of the hands and pinkie fingers together. Stretch your arms a little forward. It's almost as if you are offering a gift to someone. Visualize yourself standing at the edge of the ocean. This is literally an ocean of abundance. There is enough for you. And for me. There is enough for all of us. You see that this great big ocean can support all of us. Feel the unlimited supply.
*The idea is to engage your mind in some way. If this is "too out there" for you then write in a journal, recite an affirmation, or make a list of all you have in your life.
3. Close your ideas and allow your awareness just to rest in your heart center. Be quiet and still. Breathe. Read something that inspires and lifts you up. Do something that reminds you that you are more than money, more than worries and stress. Find a way to connect to your spirit and your purpose.

The truth is that we can do very little about the stock market, the housing crisis, and our nation's debt. What we can change are our habits and thoughts. Will this work make a difference or not? I don't' know. I do know that I choose to remain positive and optimistic. No I will not dig my head deep into the sand and refuse to believe what "could" happen. I will reevaluate how I'm spending my money. Should I be terribly wrong and things go straight down the drain at least I've had a few more months of happiness and health.

How about you....what are your thoughts? Are you being affected by the financial woes?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

an apple a day

Andy and I went to Boyds Orchard yesterday to pick some apples. Visiting the orchard is one of our fun things we do every year around this time. We picked apples, bought cider and pumpkin butter. Later on we pulled the fall decorations from the attic and bought straw for outdoor decorating But we didn't even buy pumpkins....and they were everywhere at the orchard! Very poor planning on our part. We were so excited about the apples. Yesterday we had apples with peanut butter, blended apple slush, and baked apples. Lots of apples at the Tessandori household. That's why I'll be sharing some at the studio today. So come out for class and take away a yummy apple after class.

Sadly the workshop with Kimberly Wilson has been cancelled for this Saturday. Enrollment was too low for me to justify Kimberly making the trek all the way from DC.

Monday, October 06, 2008

study nature

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature.
It will never fail you.
~Frank Lloyd Wright

Friday, October 03, 2008

a proud yogi

Many of you know about my brother's coffee shop in Whitesburg, Summit City. I was ecstatic for he and his wife Amelia when they made the front page of the Herald Leader. This morning I learned that they've one upped themselves by landing in an article in The New York Times. The article is about hiking the Pine Mountain Trail. Here's a sliver of the article...

Whitesburg is a good place to meet people who have an unbreakable relationship with this landscape.

“The mountains are so close on, they’re almost hugging you,” said Joel Beverly, 34, who co-owns Summit City Lounge, a cafe, bourbon-tasting-bar and Americana music spot downtown. “When I go to areas that aren’t so crammed in, I almost feel lost.”

The next day, I took a “Goodbye, Whitesburg” hike with Mr. Beverly’s wife and co-owner of Summit City, Amelia Kirby, 30. She’s also a documentary and radio producer based at Appalshop, an arts and culture organization that operates out of a rambling barnlike building in Whitesburg. Appalshop celebrates the land and people of Appalachia without ignoring economic problems, environmental issues and social concerns.

We walked up a road toward a reclaimed former strip mine, accompanied by Ms. Kirby’s dog, Maysie. On a hilltop, a ladybug alighted on a coal lump. When viewed from above, through the fog, the stretch of Pine Mountain that I’d hiked looked like a green archipelago.

Ms. Kirby compared our vista to her view from the plane when descending into the Virgin Islands.

“Joel and I left as young people,” she said, “and didn’t want to stay away. You get back into the mountains, and you have an ‘ahhhh’ feeling — like you’re nestled into it.”

Click here to read the article

My maiden name is Beverly and many times growing up we were referred to as "The Beverly Hillbillies". For a little hillbilly fam, I imagine we're not doing too shabby these day. ;-)

Big Happy Days. I'll be traveling with Andy to Whitesburg tomorrow after teaching. There's some celebrating to do.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


Some of you noticed me wearing my choice for presidency on my sleeve today....or rather my chest. A group of Cincinnati yogi's have designed these cute and clever shirts and I couldn't resist. Mine is pink, of course. Many of you wanted me to share the link. You can order yours here.

Enjoy the debate tonight. It is exciting regardless of your particular affiliation with either party! I will be donning my pink Obama shirt, sipping some tea, and soaking it all in!

I had such fun teaching class tonight. Many thanks to all of you present! Very wonderful. :-)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

wonder woman

"Go in peace, my daughter, and remember that,
in a world of ordnary mortals,
you are a wonder woman."
Hippolyte, Queen of the Amazons

I just picked up the new issue of skirt magazine and I gotta say that I love this (free) publication.

Love the odd shape.
Love the artwork on the cover.
Love the words.
And the rallying of women.
Love how it encourages us to be real.
And embrace our truth.

It's witty and funny.
Reminds us to unleash our inner rebel
and honor our wishes, hopes and dreams.

Yes let's all rally together and be fabulous women of wonder.
And You.